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Bosch partners with Nikola for electric truck

Trucks will feature a custom-designed fuel cell system which is also being developed jointly

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The futuristic looking hydrogen-electric truck from the Nikola Motor Company
The futuristic looking hydrogen-electric truck from the Nikola Motor Company

Salt Lake City start-up, Nikola Motor Company, and Bosch have joined forces to bring two long-haul hydrogen-electric truck models to market by 2021.


The Nikola One and Two, a class 8 hydrogen-electric truck line-up with zero local emissions, will deliver more than 1,000 horsepower and 2,000 foot-pounds of torque, nearly double the horsepower of any semi-truck on the road, the companies said.


Bosch and Nikola will also jointly develop the overall powertrain system for the Nikola trucks, which will include the safety concept and vehicle electrical architecture.


By utilising advanced simulation technologies throughout the whole development process, from system layout to testing and validation, the truck line-up will launch with one of the most optimised and state-of-the-art system designs and vehicle controls in the mobility sector, according to the companies.


“We have been aggressively pursuing our goal of bringing the most advanced semi-truck ever built to market,” said Trevor Milton, founder and CEO, Nikola.


He added: “The powertrain requires an innovative and flexible partner able to adapt quickly to the speed of our team. Bosch has empowered us to come to market quickly with automotive-grade hardware and software so our vision can become a reality.”


The trucks will be built around the eAxle. Developed by Bosch, it is a scalable, modular platform with the motor, power electronics and transmission in one compact unit. This makes it suitable for vehicles of all kinds, from small passenger cars to light trucks, said Bosch.


The eAxle will use proven commercial vehicle electric machine technology and separate motor generator (SMG) motors from Bosch.


The eAxles will be paired with a custom-designed fuel cell system – also being developed jointly between Nikola and Bosch – designed to deliver “benchmark” vehicle range. The overall vehicle controls will also be jointly developed based upon Bosch’s vehicle control software and hardware.


“Breakthrough mobility technology requires visionary targets, speed to-market and disciplined structure to ensure long-term success,” added Dr Markus Heyn, member of the Bosch board of management responsible for the commercial vehicle organisation.


“Together with Nikola we are pushing ourselves to realise new levels of technological achievement and market penetration.”


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